5 Exercises to Maintain Muscle Mass
After age 30 we begin to lose muscle mass, as much as 3% to 5% per decade, according to Harvard Health Publishing. But there are simple exercises to help you maintain muscle mass and lose weight that don’t require a gym membership. Increasing your movement is the best (and easiest) way to reach those goals. Movement—no matter how small—counts as exercise and we can often squeeze it in more often than a trip to the gym. Stretching and strengthening is essential in order to:
- Maintain muscle mass
- Prevent injuries (like strains and ligament damage)
- Increase movement ability (flexibility) and coordination
- Build bone density
- Prevent and alleviate back pain
- Decrease joint pain associated with movement
You don’t have to hit the gym or buy a set of weights to get the quality, muscle-building exercise your body needs.
5 Easy Strengthening Exercises for Your Busy Schedule
1) Glute Bridges
The large muscles at the top of your legs are an important part of your body’s core powerhouse and help with bending, lifting, and mobility.
Lay on your back with your feet a hip’s width apart. Raise your hips up as much as you can and squeeze your glutes. Hold that clench for a two-second count then slowly lower your hips. Repeat for 2 sets of repetitions (“reps”).
Planks are an excellent way to strengthen the core muscles of your abdomen and back and they don’t require any equipment to do. Simply get in a “push-up position” then drop your elbows to the ground so they’re directly below your shoulders. Lift your abdomen, back, and legs so they are in straight alignment and hold for as long as you’re able. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
3) Side Planks
Now, instead of that classic “push-up position,” you’re going to turn on your side so only one forearm and foot are on the ground and your hips rotated so they’re vertical toward the ceiling. Lift your body for straight alignment and hold. This is going to be much harder than a traditional plank so start with short bursts and work up. Don’t forget to switch sides!
4) Bird Dog
The bird dog exercise extends the length of the spine and works two abdominal muscles, along with the glutes and traps.
- Kneel with your knees hip-width apart and hands firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Engage your abdominals.
- Extend one arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg behind you, forming a straight line from hand to foot. Hips should be squared to the ground.
- Hold for a few seconds, then return your hands and knees to the ground. Abs should be engaged throughout the exercise and try to minimize any extra motion in your hips during the weight shift.
- Switch to the either side for five reps per side, 10 reps total.
5) The Frog Pose
The groin muscles are generally underworked and are the muscles we often pull or strain when engaging in more vigorous exercises. Strengthen these muscles by using a yoga pose called the Frog Pose.
- Begin in an elevated position with your hands and knees on the floor and your core raised. Hold that position while you engage your core muscles.
- Next, slowly extend one knee at a time outward in small increments. Continue to spread your knees while keeping your feet turned outward.
- Next, slowly flex your elbows and lower your forearms to the floor with your palms flat.
- Slowly press your hips backward until you feel the muscles in your hips and inner thighs stretch.
Don’t overdo the stretch. Keep it nice and comfortable and build up to wider motions.
Hold that position for a count of 5 or 10 seconds while taking deep breaths. Raise yourself to the starting position and repeat the motions above 3 to 5 times.
Fuel is Important for Building Strength
Protein is likely the most important dietary element in strength-building. Maintaining muscle tone will help you achieve your movement and weight loss goals in multiple ways:
- More muscle mass makes movement easier
- Stronger muscles can tolerate more movement with less discomfort
- Lean muscle burns more calories even when at rest
But how do you get that protein into your diet? Protein-rich meal replacement bars and drinks are a great option, but most taste like cardboard or are flavorless!
Not the Hollywood Diet®!
The Hollywood Cookie Diet is formulated to help you crush your cravings without adding unnecessary calories to your diet. They’re packed with a proprietary blend of plant-based proteins (including pea and rice proteins) balanced with just enough carbohydrates and healthy fats to give your body the fuel it needs to rebuild muscle and help you burn calories even when at rest. Plus, they’re packaged in handy individual servings great for tossing in your briefcase, desk, bag, or glove compartment, so you can have them wherever and whenever you need them.
How about building your muscle mass with enhanced nutritional intake while reducing extra calories simultaneously? The 48 Hour Miracle Diet® is a great-tasting juice-based fasting aid that features select essential oils, minerals and vitamins, which help keep you full while reducing your caloric intake over 48 hours. The juice-based fasting aid burns fat proactively, boosting your existing insulin’s effectiveness and giving your pancreas a much-needed rest.
Start building healthier muscle mass today with the healthy nutrition in The Hollywood Diet products and a little extra daily motion.